Bless Your Husband Through Food

woman-sunset-sunrise-silhouette-holding-sunball

One of the things I decided almost 13 years ago when we were first married, was that my husband would eat good food and be provided for.  I remember how it felt to wake up with him very early in the morning, even though I really didn’t need to as my day started a lot later (college and part-time work), but I’d wake up with him, make sure he had fresh tacos and coffee and a lunch for the day, and it was just perfect.  I knew it wasn’t what feminists would want to see, a wife actually caring about her husband’s meals and doing something sacrificial for him, but I almost couldn’t help myself!  I just loved him so much that I wanted to make sure he had homemade breakfast tacos!

Bacon and Egg Tacos with Pesto Recipe - Mission Foods

Now that he leaves so early, and we have so many children that for years, have seriously interrupted my sleep, he totally understands why I sleep in sometimes if I need to… he would never demand on time breakfast in those circumstances, BUT I still love to make sure he has good food! I just make it so that it’s ready to go!

In order to do this, I make a ton of food in advance and wrap it/store it so that he can get it when he needs to.  Sometimes I’m cooking for literally two hours to cover all the week’s meals, BUT it is so worth it to have those other nights off.

Cooking like this for my husband (and children) isn’t just fun, it’s financially practical and even healthy from a nutrition standpoint.  It’s quite literally taking care of my man from every angle – there is no down side.  To me, it’s a beautiful gesture of love done food-style!

The way to a man's heart is through his stomach! | The heart of ...

I also do this with his lunches.  For years I wasn’t as creative and would only send sandwiches or lunches that tasted good cold, but finally I branched out and got him an electric lunchbox, a tiny little oven that’s portable that he can plug into his car if needed.

Koolatron-12-Volt Lunch Box Stove

For a Police Officer, this is life-changing!  Healthy, hot-meals he can eat on the go that are made with love from his wife at home!!  It’s just awesome for both of us ❤ a true win-win in my opinion.

Now that we have such a large family, I’m buying more in bulk than I ever was before.  Just this week I bought 15 dozen eggs!  Yes, that is 180 EGGS !!!  But for our family, especially with the meat prices rising (we aren’t afraid, we have a freezer stocked with meat that could last for months and months if needed), this many eggs are something I know our kids will eat that provide the nutrition of fat and protein.  It’s good to buy from local farmers or places that can get you a good price, and buying in bulk usually means a better price.  Our regular local HEB had just 1 dozen eggs priced at $6.50, which was a terrible price.  I purchased these 15 dozen eggs for only $13 !!!!!  When the corporate world tries to mess with you, go local, go to the farmers.

IMG_3295

We also bought 25 POUNDS of flour for baking for only $10 back when no one could find flour on the shelves at HEB or grocery stores.  Being a wife, it’s good to be creative and look ahead to the future so that IF something strange does happen, like a ridiculous pandemic, you’re provided for.

IMG_3296

We not only stocked up on 180 eggs and 25 pounds of flour at bargain prices, we also found pinto beans at 50 POUNDS for just $45 !!!!  Dry beans are definitely something good to have on hand when the food sources are looking unreliable.  And all of this is supporting local Texans… something my husband and I both treasure in our hearts!

None of my bulk cooking would work if I couldn’t find and figure out bargains like that!  And the added bonus of making sure your husband has meals so his day is easier as he’s out working hard for your family is that our sons get to see what it looks like when a mom loves their dad, and our daughter gets to see love in action in a wife/mother type of role that is practical and works.  And don’t get me wrong, they also see the benefits I reap as my husband gives me tons of affection and love back in SO many ways it’s impossible to explain.  But they see it all, and our marriage is hopefully a testament to the beauty that it can be when a man and woman truly love each other and work together to build a dream.

And yes, LOL a big part of building that dream involves eating very. good. delicious. food!

End of the Year Homeschool

IMG_3249

I can’t believe it’s already the end of the regular school year!  We were planning to go through the Summer anyway with math and history, due to the newborn baby and taking time off, but a lot of things are wrapping up, and the kids are excited for Summer.

I can’t believe though, that we’re already in mid-May.  I woke up Mother’s day morning and felt just an overwhelming feeling of gratitude.  The morning sunlight was streaming into the kitchen, and as I walked around barefoot, getting my coffee and grabbing my hat before going out to look at the garden, I could tell it was already becoming a beautiful day.

My husband had already woken up hours before, had kissed me and whispered, “Happy Mother’s day,” to which at that insanely early hour of 4am-ish, I sleepily wished him happy mother’s day right back! 😂  LOL

We have tons of yellow squash flowers and a few of the veggies themselves growing, and already many juicy looking tomatoes!  Peppers are coming in nicely all over the place… it is crazy how fast a garden grows.  And having a garden just brings so much joy.

IMG_3275IMG_3276

Our tomatoes are growing so fast, we actually have 12 tomatoes growing at the same time on just one plant alone!!  Some are getting really big and heavy 😀  I’m thinking we’ll actually have too much and will give some away to neighbors if they want them.

IMG_3230

Things have been so incredibly busy here for us.  Just lots of different projects going on, together with homeschooling, a brand new baby, etc… it’s just a lot.

One thing I am grateful for though is our ability to homeschool.  While most of our friends our constantly complaining on social media about how much their kids are expected to do for their new and very strange, “distance-learning,” we’re over here going on like nothing has happened, and school is still (thankfully – SO thankfully) enjoyable for them.

Homeschool is just amazing, there is no getting around it.  Our 9 year old son is studying multiple subjects at such an advanced level that he’s basically at a middle school foundation of learning now.  He’s set to have a science test on the brain and vision, and instead of just learning boring facts about all of that, he goes above and beyond to really research deep into the material on his own, and had the opportunity to even watch brain surgery (online) if he wanted to.  It’s just a completely different experience than traditional government schools (or charter or Christian for that matter).  And for our 5 year old, I’ve been able to go at a slower pace when he needed it, which has actually helped him advance suddenly very quickly when he catches on to a new subject!  If he was in a regular school, I’m not sure they would have been able to slow down for him enough when he was needing it.  With teaching them myself, I’m able to, “see,” exactly what they may be needing or not understanding correctly, and fix it, or try a different approach, right then, as opposed to making them feel more and more inadequate as they watch their peers around them move on (part of what I think is making boys in particular feel like school isn’t for them, leading them to give up altogether).

It’s been so wonderful getting to teach them first-hand and experience it all with them – so much better than passing it off to an overwhelmed teacher who has 20+ other children to teach at the same time.  This one-on-one attention just cannot be beat, and it’s very wonderful to see that play out individually for each child based on what they need, and on what they want to learn when it comes to things they can choose.

I’m not saying homeschooling is easy.  One of the disappointing things about this quarantine period has been seeing all the parents relentlessly complain about their children’s schoolwork and getting them to do schoolwork; explaining that children shouldn’t be learning at home like this anyway – that its just too much for them and that that is the reason why they are acting out or can’t cope or whatnot.  It’s like they expected this to be really easy.

It does take awhile for new homeschooling parents to help their children get into the, “groove,” of doing school, but in general, homeschooling is kind of hard.  It’s a lot harder at the beginning when you first pull your kids out, because they almost go through a kind of shock being out of the school system, but even after you get established, teaching should be expected to be a little hard – it’s a skill, and as a parent, you have to develop it overtime.  Homeschool is beautiful and fun and hilarious at times, but it shouldn’t be expected to just be super easy without putting in first a lot of work to create the kind of environment to make it easier.  It’s just hard at times, juggling multiple children and teaching them.  There are a lot of tricks you can do to make it easier, like separating subjects so that each child has almost a whole day (or time block) devoted to one-on-one time with you to really set them up for more self-motivated (easier) work later on in the week, but even things like that aren’t fool-proof.   Nothing is fool-proof when you have a lot of kids.  One day a couple of weeks ago, I was trying to teach our lesson on Latin-based vocabulary words, and the baby just wouldn’t stop crying (even after being fed, changed and held).  We had to switch up the schedule and have them do some work on their own where I wasn’t needed, and come back to the English lesson later.  You have to be able to do this without getting overly stressed, otherwise it creates an awful environment.  Homeschool takes a lot of flexibility and creativity… something that parents have to learn how to develop in themselves and basically figure out on their own when they’re in the middle of it.  It’s not for the anxious or uptight parent, in my opinion… you need to be able to find the humor in plans gone wrong, to have fun and be spontaneous.

With the new quarantine distance-learning, our friends are basically just harassing their kids in order to get them to do their work, which of course, would be awful everyday, all day long.  It is just SO incredibly different from real, actual homeschool where YOU as the parent create the curriculum, know your limits, know you can extend some subjects over the Summer, and set your own goals and tests/quizzes, projects for your own kids!  It is a WORLD of difference from what this new distance-learning pseudo-homeschooling is.

And my hope is that a lot of parents are going to see through this bs, see how the only way their kids were getting work done before was in having the teachers basically (sometimes lightly) harass them into doing it, and pull their kids out to have more control over the situation.  Government schools are already failing at epic proportions to actually educate our children, we might as well call them on it now – now that the parents have had a chance to see what it was really like, and teach your children yourself at home.

I’ve found that you really don’t need to harass your kids as I’m seeing our friends complain about in order to get them to do school.  Our boys have gotten very good at focusing, and understanding that the quicker they get the very hard or just unpleasant work done, the more time they have to actually do fun things they want to do.  When I pulled our oldest out to homeschool him, the first thing I noticed was that he had zero self-motivation, which was tragic and horrifying (and when I homeschooled him before, at age 2-4, he wasn’t like that at all, school had beaten it out of him).  He always made A’s in government schools, but being smart enough to do well like that, and learning the life-skill of being motivated to learn and taking ownership over your work are two different things.

It’s a good life lesson in helping them learn self-discipline and grit to persevere through something less than pleasant, but thankfully, most of homeschooling can be tailored to help make it all mostly pleasant!  That Latin-based English lesson is intense, and it was never our oldest’s favorite subject, but he has come to really enjoy it and look forward to it!  I’ve very grateful our boys have almost mastered their self-motivation and self-discipline at this point, so that it really isn’t so much of an issue anymore.  This is extremely helpful when you have a newborn… they can do their work self-motivated, and the parent isn’t constantly on top of them to get them to finish.

Another quick thing about homeschooling is that you get to set up the environment tailored to your family’s needs.  On Mondays, we love to make Monday jokes during our, “warm-up,” and breakfast time, and it’s been tradition to watch an episode of Garfield’s horrible Mondays to laugh at the start of the new week.  But typically, we all love to hear classical music during the morning school routine, so I usually just put on, “Classical for Studying Radio,” on Pandora, but since pandora is tailored to one’s own liking, ours has mostly soft piano classical.  Piano touches something deeply within me when I hear it… both my parents played really well, and it takes me back to that feeling of coming home, and our boys love the peace it brings.

Here’s a sample of the music we hear during our morning homeschooling –

 

***

Lastly, I’m sorry to end on such a dark note 😦 , but it’s been hard being the wife of a man who is on the front lines of rescuing children from abuse during this quarantine.  He’s helped children who tried to commit suicide due to the abuse they’ve received, along with lots of other situations and I’m sure many more to come… and everything just kind of permeates me, even though I try to have a thick barrier.  And he does try to preserve us from knowing a lot of the details… we are his peaceful, pristine place to come back to from the horrors he sees and tries to deal with.  It’s almost always though only a situation where he feels like he’s never doing enough… only in his words, “putting a band-aid on a wound that needs expert medical skill and stitches.”

I think there’s a connection there though, between the parents like I said, “harassing,” their children basically, to get their work done, and the ones who crack and begin a cycle of emotional or even physical abuse.  Not that some aren’t already in an abusive home.  Just a couple of days ago, a horrific story came out and I almost couldn’t function I was so overwhelmed with emotions for the children, and especially the target boy – my heart died inside.  And yes, it isn’t lost on me that she pulled him out of school, under the guise of homeschooling him, just so she could continue the abuse.  Things like this make me beg my husband to adopt, or try to intervene somehow for these kids, even though I know him being there to get them out, put the monsters in jail is good… it just never feels like, “enough.”

If anyone is in Florida and thinking about becoming foster parents, that target child of the most demonic-like abuse, desperately needs a family who could help him.  If anyone is in the situation to help him, I’ve been praying constantly for 3 days for him to be placed in the right home.

Marriage – You Can’t Just Go Through the Motions… You Have to Be All-In

 

Ugh!!!  This made me cry….  Last Autumn we had an officer who had a terrible accident, and I was there with his wife visiting… had to take my mom for my own emotional support, it was so heartbreaking.  They remind me of this couple.  Just the daily struggle, seeing her husband come back to himself has been amazing.

This is what a wife should look like, it should literally be like wife-support (wow, that’s corny).  The literal Hebrew words for what Eve was supposed to be for Adam, was Ezer Kenegdo, which literally means life-saver.

Dear wife reading this, you have the opportunity to be your husband’s emotional, mental, and sometimes even motivational life-saver.  It’s literally what God intended for Eve to be to Adam.   Marriage, even in crisis, is intended to be romantic.

He’s so courageous for even trying to come back (the man in the video), what a hit to his overall ego-self.

Inspiration for a romantic Wednesday…

Reflections on Motherhood & Fertility

15879916708875294159180625834084

This is just a sentimental, reflective type of post… just my random thoughts on my journey of motherhood at this point.  This morning I woke up with our newborn and was able to spend alone time (LOL if that counts as, “alone,” when theres a little one attached to you!) with God, reading His Word.  Then our 2 year old daughter woke up so I brought her down to be with me.  She loves reading her Bible in the morning.  She’s been doing this, waking up with me and, “reading,” her Biblefor a couple of years now!  I’d gotten out of this practice after we had the baby almost 2 months ago, because he wakes up every 1-2 hours all night long.  But it really is better making sure I spend that time in the morning with God.  Plus, it shows her (and the other children) that it’s still important, even if I don’t feel like it and would rather be lazy.  It’s not always possible, sometimes I’m just too tired, but I can feel a difference in my day when I’ve given Him my, “first fruits,” and cast my cares on Him (instead of carrying them into the day ahead).

This morning my oldest also came down and read aloud Pslam 139 – so beautiful to hear him say those words about being knitted in the womb (MY womb – wow!!) and hearing him proclaim to God how my son already knows how much God loves and cares about him, that he knows God will never, “let him go,” –  the meaning of that passage.

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
    Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
    your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
    and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
    I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.

Our other son came in later on, and seeing them all together again, all four of them there with me in the little room with dimly lit light cast against the increasing sunrise outside, makes me just feel so joyful.

It’s hard to believe that my husband and I have finally met our goal of having four children.  There’s still something very surreal about it all, that the effort to meet that goal is over.  Every time I see all our kids close together, I can’t help but count them 😃 because I almost can’t believe it, and it takes me back how wonderful it feels seeing all of them here.  We made it. ❤️ I feel both a little sad, as well as a great, satisfied relief knowing we’re, “done.”

I had our first at age 23.  It’s been 10 years of fertility and having babies, from 2010 to 2020.  A beautiful decade.  Those 10 years are now over, and we’re on to the next chapter of our life where we can fully focus on raising them well and pouring our love and guidance into them to prepare them for adulthood. There’s a part of me that just can’t believe it’s been 10 years.  It feels both long and short, probably due to how hard it was (the pregnancies and breastfeeding and toddler days) as well as how fast it went by. 

Child-bearing at the same time as you’re child-rearing is just hard, as well as wonderful.  I remember distinctly one time my husband and I survived two weeks straight of diarrhea from almost all three of them a couple of years ago.  It was so horrible, we were surrounded by so much poop and the smell of it, but we hugged each other tightly in the middle of the kitchen and jokingly said, “only seven more years to go!” (in reference to having another baby and going through potty training again), and as we held each other, we were able to laugh and actually feel joy.  Joy, in the midst of 2-weeks of diarrhea!  There’s been no doubt the days have been long and the years short.  Now the definitive action of deciding we’re done, that I’m no longer fertile, has an effect almost like what I assume empty-nesters must feel as they embark on a very different and defined new chapter of their life.  There’s sadness in a way, but also excitement that we’ve made it!

When we had our firstborn son, I couldn’t shake the feeling of being ill-equipped and just in general, not ready yet for having a child, or being a mother.  My own mother waited until she was 32 to have her first child, and while I knew I didn’t want to wait as long as she did, I still wished back then that I had had more time.  Thankfully, I don’t usually feel envy, but back then I envied (a little) women who were older for having more experience, more spiritual maturity, or even more money than we did at that time (we were SO poor).  My best friend (who had a great, stable job and lots of excess money to spend on lavish travels around the world) candidly told me that she could never do what I did – marry for love before we were financially ready, and this was part of why, because having children when you’re not really financially ready IS hard, but looking back, I wouldn’t change it for the world.  Looking back, I’m very glad we started that young, because knowing what I know now, how hard pregnancy is in your 30’s for one, having our first so young was a blessing!  Going through those hard times forced us to grow resilient and resistant to hopelessness.  Our marriage is so much deeper and stronger in mysterious spiritual ways that I don’t think many people get to develop, because we had to rely so much on God.  We’ve now seen so many friends and family go through divorces, many people who looked down on us, or tell us how they pitied us, or outright told us we were doing it wrong, many of them haven’t lasted.

I was reading Pslam 73 this morning, and it fit with those thoughts,

1 Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.
3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.
5 They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills.
6 Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence.
7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity; their evil imaginations have no limits.
8 They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression…
12 This is what the wicked are like— always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.

13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence.
14 All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments.
15 If I had spoken out like that, I would have betrayed your children
16 When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply
17 till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.

18 Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin.
19 How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors!
20 They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord, you will despise them as fantasies…

23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27 Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.

Recently, when I was out running with my almost 10 year old, it occurred to me how in 10 years, his youngest brother, and our last child, may be be doing the same thing (being my running partner) and yet my sweet, oldest boy will then be 20!!!   It’s sad and strange how fast time flies, and when I think of him being that much older, it mostly makes me sad to lose him (yet excited he’ll grow up).  It’s the strangest paradox I’m sure most parents understand.

We can’t see into the future at all, but I LOVE seeing how much our family has grown… I love how God’s guided our path when we trusted His ways.  I feel so often I don’t deserve all this, it feels surreal to finally see the fruits of our long-awaited efforts.  I love seeing how making even just tiny decisions early on in our marriage, like getting up early in the morning to read the Bible, has influenced them to want to do it on their own.

It’s amazing to see something like this – to actually see our children seek out the Lord.

Life Updates – Coronavirus Edition

IMG_3045

Since so much has happened in our baby’s first month and a half of life, together with the sleep deprivation, it’s felt like a strange and blurry whirlwind.  I had already planned to take March off from homeschooling due to the birth, so not much changed for us with the quarantine orders.  It was just business-as-usual, and the kids missed school so much we ended up starting back up only 2 weeks into the break anyway!  It’s nice to have a routine, and it’s nice they actually like doing school (enough LOL).

Having a husband who was having work all the time during the pandemic, risking being exposed and bringing it home to us (and our newborn!!!!), was not at all easy.  He was only off for 3 DAYS after I came home from the hospital, so it was hard.  My mom was able to come once a week, and thankfully I recover fast, but the sleep deprivation… I just don’t do well with it by any means.

We’ve been really lucky with the other children’s births.  Our first was over the summer and we both were college students working flexible jobs.  With our second, my husband only took off 5 days, but his schedule allowed him to let me sleep in for as long as I needed (I’m talking till 11am – just insane for life with a newborn, he spoiled me!! Our bed felt like a sleeping on a cloud and the overall experience was easy).  With our third he felt he had enough time and ability to take a month off – it was like a strange family vacation of sorts.  But this time was different.

At first when we’d talked about it, we both agreed there was no need to take off, I’d be 100% fine (LOL can you believe this?!?).  We both figured with his new schedule where he got off early in the afternoon, that he’d come home, let me sleep if I needed it, and he’d still be able to bond with the baby, play with the kids, etc. and everything would just magically work out.

LOL

It was only on the last day when I was still in the hospital with our newborn that it started to dawn on me, “Wow, this is going to be REALLY hard… I think I want my husband to take off now for a month like he did last time….”  The only problem was, he’d already taken on a big, important commitment for that entire month (!), as well as several special assignments interspersed that each paid a lot of money.  He didn’t want to take off anymore, and because of the big commitment, he really couldn’t without letting several people down – it was too late!

But because of the virus, his hours at times got extended to ridiculous lengths we’d rarely seen before.  Normal 8 hour shifts turned into 15 hour shifts, leaving me at home with all four kids, on very little sleep, and feeling like death more than a few times.  His guys were saying there were rumors they’d have to go to 12-hour shifts (which meant even lonnnger if they went over) and that they may have to go to 6 days a week!  It was basically horrible… for both of us.  I’m very grateful it went by fast and like a blur.

Surviving through that first month was ridiculously hard, especially with the added psychological threat of, “What if he brings the virus home?  We have a newborn and women who just gave birth are on the “at-risk” list!!!”  To a major extent, I had to accept that if God allowed it to happen, to affect us or our kids, or even the newborn, that I’d accept death due to me telling him not to take off originally, and him not wanting to afterward, and that death would still be within God’s will.  It sounds dramatic now, but we’ve already lost a few people in our little country church, and saw some in their 30’s have a very hard time with it (one man close by died).  Death was suddenly a possibility, albeit maybe small, but when your husband is out there everyday, interacting with the public and then possibly bringing it home to all your little ones, it really helps your faith grow in trusting whatever God allows.

We had both basically caused each other to suffer needlessly for making choices that weren’t the best.  I was an idiot and really thought I could handle it all on my own, and he really didn’t think about the risk to the family that first month having a newborn concerning the virus.  It all kind of exploded in our faces – and that was our first month of quarantine!  This is one of those times where we both had to realize how human we were, how we really misjudged what it would be like, and had to forgive each other and move on.  It dawned on me how much he was missing out bonding with the baby – because I thought I’d be able to handle everything – and I was actually worried he resented me for it!  I’m so thankful we were both able to forgive each other, to communicate and move on.

After his big commitment was over that first month, his Grandfather passed away after a good, full life ❤ , and my husband was allowed time off.  His Grandfather had requested for him to be in the funeral to carry the casket, so he felt like it was an honor to go,  His Grandmother told him during the funeral how proud she was of him and his achievements – he was very encouraged by going.  His superior gave him the option to take a special quarantine leave since he would be traveling outside the county, so he took 2 weeks – only to make me feel supported.  He didn’t have to, it caused him to miss out on two special assignments.  He could have gone straight back to work and I think there was some pressure to do that, but he chose to take 2 weeks off for me.

Those two weeks after the somewhat hellish existence of that first month just trying to survive, felt like a family, “staycation,” while in quarantine.  Finally, he had time to really bond with the baby, hang out with our boys, and tease our girl.  I know others have had it much harder, I’m grateful all this was our only real struggle.

Now on to happier things….

Our garden of veggies and herbs is doing wonderfully.  The kids love watching the stuff they planted grow, there’s blueberries starting to turn purple/blue, and lots of strawberries beginning to bud.  No blackberries or grapes yet, but we’re waiting for those to pop out hopefully soon.

We should have some good-sized bell peppers red and green, and candy-cane peppers, along with a bunch of jalapeno peppers and two different kinds of tomatoes.  Also hoping the squash, zucchinis and cucumbers come up… fingers crossed!

I love the simplicity of having a garden one eats out of ❤  Hopefully our kids will grow up to love that, too.

IMG_2980

This lower picture is of some of the baby oranges budding.  Can’t wait to make fresh orange juice and maybe try to make orange marmalade!!!

IMG_2977

Some pictures of a hike we went on close to our house.  The views of the surrounding areas from on top of the hills were just gorgeous!

IMG_3056

IMG_3062

 

IMG_3083

IMG_3061

I love yellow cactus flowers.  Just so bright and joyful.

IMG_3064

We are quite literally surrounded by cactus though, which I don’t mind at all, since I grew up with it, it makes me feel even more at home.  I had a sweet, younger male cousin who fell into it one time on Easter, during one of our huge egg-hunts.  He had to go to the hospital, but ended up ok (terrified of them, but otherwise ok).  I try to tell our boys that story semi-often just to remind them although they’re beautiful and fascinating, they’re REALLY no joke!  They love to play-fight so I could just imagine the cactus scenarios playing out….  Don’t throw your brother into the cacti!!!  Just saying.

~ ❤ ~

We get all kinds of birds, these below I believe are house finches… they sing beautifully!

IMG_3087IMG_3088

IMG_3092

The view from atop the elliptical 😀

Somehow the stars aligned and I was actually able to workout even with my husband at work!  All four kids let me do it!! It felt amazing and so good!!

This is the first time we both feel completely outnumbered by all our kids.  One was pretty easy, two wasn’t hard at all, three it got a tiny bit harder, but four is insane… like we sometimes lose a kid level of insane!!!!  I’m sure we’ll get used to it (and better at knowing where all four are on any given basis).

But we’re not there yet!

 

Things I Want My Daughter to Know: Resilience is Beautiful

This part of your book has taken about a year to write.  A large part of that is due to my feeling completely and utterly ill-equipped at times to write with any authority on resilience. So this is something you can know that at this point in time, when you were two years old, I was still trying to build this virtue in myself.

It’s a very hard quality to master anyway, but the sooner one starts developing it, the better off they will be at a younger age. Your grandmother and your daddy see me as very strong, but deep down inside, it takes a lot of mental effort, and a lot of faith in God, especially to accept the negatives He allows.

Having a spirit of resilience is crucial for survival, not only in the very difficult trials you may face, but also just to manage the daily grind of little ups and downs that come with life in general.

In fact, I’d argue it’s actually more important to have resilience so that you’re able to deal with everyday life, because that’s what will determine your long-term mental health and prosperity.

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, tree, plant, sky, child, grass, outdoor and nature

I know you, my Little One, will develop and then nourish your resilience using some of the techniques I’ll teach you throughout our years together ❤ .  You’re already incredibly strong in spirit, graceful and yet confident, and we can see the woman you’re becoming already!

From Dr. Stephen Marmer, psychiatrist at UCLA Medical School and psychiatrist of 40 years –

  • Resilience is one’s ability to bounce back from life’s inevitable disappointments, failures, and pains
  • Resilience is the opposite of fragility.  Being fragile means almost everything upsets you; you walk around angry and hurt much of the time.  This does not make for becoming a happy person.

How do you develop resilience?

  1. Gain proper perspective
  2. Compare the undeserved bad things that have happened to you, with the unearned good things that have happened to you.  Almost always you’ll find the good far outweighs the bad
  3. Toughen up – build up a mental toughness by pushing yourself
  4. Be the architect of your own fate – we may not control what happens, but we can always control how we respond to what happens
  5. Take an honest inventory of your life, make a real effort to see where you created your own problems.  Then focus on your power to change and develop better ways to act/react.

Resilience of Body Mind and Soul –

Health-wise, my secret weapon has been (for the past 9 years) advice from Dr. Frank Lipman (disclaimer: he has since fallen victim to Trump Derangement Syndrome, but still, his past health advice was superior in general).

Here is what he has to say on the topic of resilience from a health perspective:

The gift of resilience is that it gives you a solid and very seaworthy ship, so that when a storm comes, you don’t drown. When resilience is optimized, you can handle temporary and unexpected changes a little better….

Resilience is a quality you can build through lifestyle choices.

Good health comes from harnessing the power of positive synergy through fairly modest actions and everyday habits.  Resetting your sleep rhythms, plus getting out into nature, plus spending time with a friend who listens to you, can reduce a cortisol storm initiated by stress.

This gives your adrenals and thyroid a break, which improves digestive function and alleviates brain fog, restores a regular menstrual cycle of sex drive, helps your body burn calories efficiently, improves self-esteem, and ignites a desire to enroll in a strength-training class… it’s a ripple effect.

Synergy is the reason the small, ordinary things we often take for granted can catalyze extraordinary improvements in health and happiness.

Dr. Frank Lipman How to Be Well 

In another chapter, we’ll look at how important optimism is in creating synergy in your life that produces powerful resilience.  I was never aware how much an optimistic spirit can effect one’s body, I thought it was only a mindset that influenced our actions, which then influenced our body, but apparently I was wrong!  An optimistic spirit helps one to statistically heal better and even faster – this is something I’ve experience myself with each birth.  This last time with your younger brother, the nurses kept remarking how little blood I lost in the c-section surgery.  Apparently I lost five times less than the average woman does, which I’m sure was probably the reason my recovery was so easy and I was more able to quickly bounce back into the swing of things.  I’ve always been an optimistic person, but I had no idea the power that gives you in regard to resilience in your body physically.

***

Spiritual Resilience

I firmly believe we are also expected to develop a deep abiding spiritual form of resilience. In fact, resilience of the soul may actually be the phenomenon people truly mean when referring to this general ability.

In the early years of our marriage when we were especially poor and we seemed to hit new roadblocks at every turn making life harder, I believe we grew together spiritually in a way that caused us both to be like extremely drought resistant plants.  It was as if we were able to pass through any kind of fire, famine, or metaphorical pestilence, no matter how hard, demotivating, or discouraging, and come out with an attitude of gratitude. There were so many examples of this that it’d be too long to write them all out, which only serves to prove how crucial resilience in life and marriage really is.  Sometimes hits just keep coming, either by outside trials or even our own foolishness, we experienced both for sure. Sometimes it may spiritually feel like you’re on Satan’s hit-list.

Some of the verses that I clung to during those times were:

Acacia tree in the desert;Klein-aus vista namibia - Stock Photo ...

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,

whose confidence indeed is the Lord.

He will be like a tree planted by water;

it sends its roots out toward a stream,

it doesn’t fear when heat comes and its foliage remains green.

It will not worry in a year of drought or cease producing fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8

But you cannot have that promising passage, without the passage that comes right before.

A stark warning to people of God who lose their resilience by falling into hopelessness and ship-wrecking their faith –

Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind,

who makes human flesh his strength

and turns his heart from the Lord.

He will be like a juniper in the Arabah;

he cannot see when good comes,

but dwells in the parched places of the wilderness,

in a salt land where no one lives.”

Jeremiah 17:5-6

When we place our faith and hope in the hands of another human being, and forgo the power of God, we may not only will fall into hopelessness at some point, we will inevitably incur a cursed existence upon ourselves.  I’ve always been a little afraid of that passage, a healthy fear of what could happen and frequently does if you watch the lives of people around you.

Keeping faith, hope, and trust in the Lord, are the things that will bless us in the end.  We will be able to survive a long drought or famine, and won’t stop producing fruit.

81571563_2746529578726903_2439175716252680192_n

Even now, whenever we pass through something particularly difficult or even awful, I visually see our struggle almost as climbing an impossible cliff, that keeps going up and up, with no end in sight.  In each time this has happened, I realized letting go meant death (giving up spiritually etc.) but at the same time, pressing on held no promise of easy or quick relief.  Sometimes we’ve learned that as soon as we felt we had made one success, another section of the cliff opened up and showed we were still nowhere near the top yet!

In fact, it only seemed to have the illusion that the difficulty would last forever if I (we) stayed the course and continued the climb – not motivating in any sense of the word. In other words, pressing on, even when it doesn’t seem like the struggle will ever end, is not a carrot and stick model.  You won’t be immediately rewarded for your faithfulness, and for some things I think, we will only ever see any kind of reward when we get to Heaven.  A lot of human struggle really does appear to be in vain, if you’re only thinking about this life and no consequences beyond it.

Resilience cannot be reward-motivated, then, if we’re always waiting for some kind of earthly reward, we’ll undoubtedly fall into hopelessness. Our hope cannot be placed on something basic and earthly, it must be placed in something, on Someone, Higher, otherwise we fall into hopelessness. Otherwise you risk ship-wrecking your faith.

Sometimes in those past trials, I would feel myself slipping into a deep and dark hopelessness. The miraculous thing about being in absolute darkness is that it’s the perfect place where blinding, hot light can shine in and appear with even more beauty than you can imagine!

The darkest moments opened up the opportunity to cling to God even more, and to bare our souls to Him with a trust so deep that even death was something we felt ready to accept, if that be His will.

Only faith and obedience in God kept us climbing on, up and up that terrible cliff that has no end in sight, trusting Him.  It’s always been a deep trust that lasts even when something would feel impossible, that kept us moving on.

Faith is not a wishy-washy, sugar-coated message about love and tolerance for evil, etc.  Having faith that stands firm means having a strength that can only be described through God’s power and our own personal capacities for spiritual/emotional resilience.

But it’s more than just a rock-solid faith, you also need to have a tenderness that comes from feeling immense gratitude and love for the good in your life.

Resilience was a quality and virtue I wrote about in your Proverbs 31 book.

The woman who can learn this trait and virtue will greatly add to her husband’s happiness long-term, as well as her own! ❤

 

 

Letters from Mentors: What to Do During a Crisis By Mrs. White

Old-Fashioned Motherhood: Marriage is What Women Want

Mrs White, a woman I absolutely love and adore, has recently written a piece giving us wives and mothers guidance during this time of quarantine and national economic crisis.

I think I first found her online back in 2015, when I promptly read through her entire website, and ordered the book she attributed so much if her wisdom in being a wife and mother from, “Stepping Heavenward.” It’s still one of my favorite books to reread!

In her most recent advice, she shares the letters from Elizabeth Prentiss, the author of the aforementioned book, when she had to go through a quarantine and national crisis.

It’s amazing to know our letters and diaries may someday become someone else’s guide for their own spiritual growth, or provide history of what happened from a first person point of view. We encourage our kids to have their own, too, and I know they’ll probably read through our journals when they’re adults. 😍 It’s a great way to pass down a family legacy.

From Mrs. White

There have been incredibly difficult times throughout the generations.  We have endured wars, plagues, The Great Depression, storms, and many great losses.  Through it all, those who have courage and bravery have endured with a steady calm of patience and faith in the Lord.

This morning I was reading from the writings of beloved author, Elizabeth Prentiss.  I read some from her life and letters, “More Love to Thee” and her book “Urbane and His Friends,” which has some of her letters in the back of the book.  I was intrigued by some similarities of what she lived through compared to our current crisis with the virus pandemic.  Her daily life and the care of her home and family, through painful events, is what inspired me. She continued to be a good wife, mother, and homemaker regardless of the suffering she endured.

In 1853, she was shocked by the sudden death of her cousin, Louise Shipman.  Miss Shipman had been staying with the family and had become ill.  Elizabeth had been taking care of her, with the help of the doctor who made visits to the home.  The illness had been sudden and shocking.  She described how very dear and blessed she felt to have had Louise there in their midst. She was a sweet and kind girl. Elizabeth described her thus:  “Her patience was very remarkable and touching. I never saw a sick person so gentle, so considerate, so little disposed to think of self.”

Shortly after this, another member of the house, one of her children, became ill. Then her brother, who had been visiting, became ill.   On page 140 of her Life and Letters, it is said that Mrs. Prentiss “became a nurse to them both, and passed the next two months quarantined within her own walls.”

Mrs. Prentiss wrote letters and took care of the home each day.   She wrote to a friend: “I was very sorry not to see Dr. S., who called with your letter, but I am in quarantine, and cut off from the world.”   I imagine the friend had “called” by coming to the house and brought the mail, but was not able to see anyone in the house.

Later, in her letters, around 1864 she talks of the national struggle, which is now called (from what I gather) The Civil War.  She wrote to a friend: “My spunk has got a backbone of its own and that is deep-seated conviction, that this is a holy war, and that God himself sanctions it.   He spares nothing precious when He has a work to do.”   Yet, news was slow to reach her.  She mentioned that she had not had any news for a week. On page 220 of her letters she says, “I know next to nothing about what is going on in the world.”  Her husband kept up to date with the news and shared his thoughts with her.

I am sure the national crisis kept her praying.

But she kept on with the care of her family and home.

She took long walks with her children, laughing with them, enjoying each day, and took great care of them.

They were her life and her focus.

***

In her letters, around this time, she mentioned hearing the dreadful noise of coughing from a soldier, in the neighborhood, who had consumption.  Such sadness!  In April of 1865 she was shocked to hear of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.  These were perilous and frightening times in which she lived!

Nearly her entire life she suffered from physical weakness and sickness. She had a frail constitution. Despite this, she strove to live all of her life for the Lord.  She is the author of the beloved book, “Stepping Heavenward” and has blessed many wives and mothers since it’s publication in 1869.

I was greatly encouraged from my readings this morning.  It was especially meaningful because of the dreadful time of uncertainty we are living through today.  But I will say that the constant bombardment of news and reports from the media might overtake our every thought and keep us in a state of terror and anxiety.  Yes, there is a dreadful “plague” hovering around and overtaking many.  But this cannot consume our lives.  We are aware of our duties to do our part in stopping the spread of this virus.  We can do this.  But perhaps we should not be spending too much time being updated on the dreadful news going on in our communities and throughout the world.  In my Mother’s day, she and Dad would watch the evening news at 6 o’clock.  It was a once a day recap from their local state telling its residents what they needed to know. Then they went back to doing their part of taking care of their family and home.  This is what life is all about – the quiet dignity of caring for those in one’s own home.

No matter what is going on around us, we would do well to give our cares and worries and fears to the Lord in prayer. We must trust Him who loves us dearly.  Then let us get back to the business at hand – of nursing and ministering to those in our own homes, protecting them, cheering them on, with great patience and courage as we wait out this storm.

Blessings
Mrs. White

Easter – Triumph in the Face of Evil!

Happy Easter!

 

58373611_1235172983307629_6527895044861460480_o

Last year’s Easter 2019

Happy Easter readers!  I’m amazed how much has happened since Easter of last year, and I remember that day very well… it was such a wonderful celebration for our family.

57964003_1235172836640977_7982843597525352448_o

I know these new changes in our world look dark and intimidating, and it does look like it’s setting things up for more government control/power, along with the nations of the world being united together in a strange, new global effort – many things needed for the end times, whenever they will come.  One can easily see how something like this could set up an environment where the world comes together under one leader, or agrees to use one new currency.  And the sense of corruption (or evil people taking advantage of all this) is very real.  And how strange to be celebrating Easter at a time like this, with so much darkness and suffering going on, as so many are jobless.

For us, it’s been uplifting to look beyond what we see and feel, and to remember the beauty of Easter – the Promise of resurrection and new life in the midst of uncertainty of the future.

With a new baby in house, there’s a lot of hectic joy anyway, and lots of contemplating God’s goodness reflected in baby smiles.

Image may contain: 1 person, baby and close-up

He is one very happy baby 😀 !!!!

Image may contain: 1 person, baby and close-up

Robert Spencer, the man who is behind the Jihad Watch blog, and in a seemingly endless war defending truth since 2003, gave his readers an encouraging message for today, mainly that evil will not triumph over good in the end, even when it looks like it in the current day.

I wish a joyous and beautiful Easter to all those Catholic and Protestant Christians who are celebrating the Resurrection of Christ today.

Even amid the coronavirus pandemic, Muslim persecution of Christians continues to increase worldwide, as does the phenomenon of Muslims in the West claiming victimhood in order to deflect attention away from the global jihad and Islamic supremacism. The contrast is piquant: Muslims acting in the name of Allah murder Christians in Nigeria and elsewhere, simply because they are Christians, and then complain in the Judeo-Christian West about not being able to wear hijab in violation of some company’s policy, or about someone saying rude things to them in a supermarket — or speaking honestly about how Islamic jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism. Liars with power, and position, and prestige spread their lies far and wide, while truth-tellers are silenced, demonized, smeared, ignored.And the “global human rights community” rushes to condemn the “Islamophobia,” while remaining silent about the persecution and the steady erosion of the freedom of speech.

But the message today is simple: evil does not and will not triumph.

Happy Easter.

We’ll See a Rise in New, False Teachings

Two blogs I love reading posted a couple of weeks ago on something that has been weighing on my heart recently… the rise of wolves among God’s children who are coming in at this time to divert people to new teachings people want to hear more than God’s ancient Truth.  I think what bothers me most is knowing and seeing how easily deceived people are, because they want to be.  

The unfortunate fact is that people really want to hear these new things that tickle their ears, and of course the false teachers are not going to be open to correction, or admitting they’re wrong or even outright lying!  This is why exposing them in their lies and their bringing forth new, false ideas of Christianity, is so essential and biblically mandated.  I believe we’ll see more deception, even though you could argue we’ve already seen so much even in the last 10 years as the decline in moral reasoning has fallen off the cliff.

From Stacy’s blog The Proverbs 31 Wannabe –

A Pandemic of False Teachers

We are currently battling the Corona Virus pandemic.  However, there is an even more dangerous pandemic.  It is a pandemic of false teachers.  Jesus warned us four times in Matthew 24 that false teachers would be prevalent in the end times.  He said they will be dressed as sheep, but inwardly, they are wolves.  We need to take His words seriously.

Now that many cities are on orders to shelter in place, other than for emergent needs, some ministries are coming out to offer us free resources.  While it may look good to have free resources available, the eternal cost may be too great.

We are told in 1 John 4:1 to test the spirits because many false teachers will arise.  However, here’s the catch:  If you aren’t diligent to study your bible, you won’t be able to discern if they are preaching the true Jesus, or the Jesus of another gospel that Paul speaks of in Galatians 1.  We are to be able to rightly divide the Word of truth.  (2 Timothy 2:15)  This means spending much time studying the Word.

We are told in Acts 20:29 that savage wolves would come into the church.  These wolves will look and act like true Christians.  They will transform themselves into apostles of Christ, just like Satan appears as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:13-14)  Satan is sneaky, and his false apostles will use Christian words and phrases in a deceptive manner to lead us astray.

2 Peter 3:17 gives us a warning to be on our guard so we aren’t carried away by their errors.  How do we do that?  The answer lies in the next verse:  We are to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

*****

My take away from Stacy’s blog is that the false teachers will be fellow Christians (at least outwardly).  We can’t meet in person, but they’ll be getting to people through social media online, trying to get other believers to be interested in their new ideas of spiritual growth and maturity or free resources they’ll provide.  One way to safely guard against this, like Stacy said, would be seeing if what they say adds up at all with Scripture.  If they’re advocating for something sinful, or something warned about in Scripture, and promoting this as good, it’s a huge red flag that they’re a false prophet and leading people astray.

FromMario’s blog

“The Lord began to speak. I trembled. The fresh, new snow represented the false teaching that is steadily falling on the ears of the body of Christ. It has been, and is, a heavy snowfall. The skiers represented believers and non-believers, trusting the resort for a safe and memorable experience. As Christians, we have been warned to be sober and vigilant (1 Peter 5:8). However, the present ‘awe-inspiring’ teachings have lulled many into a deeper sleep.

“The layers upon layers of snow have been steadily covering the solid traditional Truth of Christ. The truth is that foolish teaching in these last days will become so fashionable even the most dedicated believer could become deceived (Matt. 24:24). It’s happening before our eyes. One spiritual leader said the other day: “You guys are old-fashioned ‘holiness,’ we are modern day ‘grace.’ You live in bondage, while we can do anything we want.”

“Pastors and teachers worldwide have succumbed to heretical teachings including universal reconciliation, the deification of man, challenging the validity of the Word of God− including His judgments, and even lifting any boundaries, claiming His amazing grace is actually “amazing freedom.” The message seems to be, “You are free to live according to your own desires.”

Sound familiar? “They had no king and did what was right in their own eyes.” (Judges 17:6) These popular self-proclaimed ministers of the gospel are covering the “slopes” and will be held accountable for the spiritual death of millions.”

The take away from this last one is self-explanatory… 😦

 

Edited to add a 3rd blog that just posted on prophetic warnings right now:

From “If Refuse to Follow Your Blog,” –

“It is sin that blinds us to the salvation we need in Jesus.”  – Alistair Begg, pastor of Parkside church

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

“Wounds of the wounded are never to heal.  They are spent days, mostly in anguish and lost in translation to their maker.

You live your life as that of a harlot.  Spreading your legs for all men to view your nakedness.  To have their way with you at every turn.

You drink strong wine and alcohol to numb the pain of your ways, hoping that the drug of choice will finally bring an end to your regret and sorrows.

Yet, it does nothing but cause more sadness.

Your actions are those of a harlot.  One who spends her days enticing the naive and feeble minded, attempting to find joy when there is none to obtain.

Like a wailing Jackal in the wilderness who has lost her young, your desires are not fulfilled.

I have set a Standard in the high places.  One on whom you can look and be fulfilled, but instead, you spend your wasted days looking to the fields which cannot fulfill; looking to the weeds which cannot produce fruit.

Turn to the Lord, the God of Heaven, and He will give you the rest you seek, but your head will not turn, your eye will not move.

Look to the One who’s mercy and love will never end, but your eye has found another lover and your heart has lost its way.

You!  The harlot of your people.  You seek to raise children and offspring who will worship God, but in spite of all your work, you only raise up more harlots among your family.

Your children are harlots of harlotry!  Cursed among the people and left to their own desires.

They are far worse than you as they have no one to guide them for the blind guides which I have not sent, lead them down the wide road of destruction.

Their mouth is filled with indecency.  They are not chaste.  … Continue Reading

The Veggie Prep Begins

IMG_2874IMG_2875

So much has been happening, aside from all the strange and ridiculous quarantine/coronavirus mandates, we’ve been busy over here… mostly cooking and baking and prepping food for storage.  It’s been a great opportunity to teach the kids about only using what we need, while also the importance of retaining the skills for long-term food management.  For our oldest, this has been an opportunity to learn about what the Great Depression was like, very sobering and devastating to learn that our country will hit a jobless claim of probably 10 million next week.  There’s just no getting around how bad this is going to be for so many families.

We’ve decided to get more resourceful… I found a local company that usually sells produce to restaurants in our area, but since so many restaurants are hurting right now financially and just can’t place the orders they normally do for produce, this company has started advertising their goods to the public.  I found amazing deals for pounds and pounds of produce from them, and they aren’t running out any time soon 🙂

Here we have a box of 15 pounds of a variety of veggies and fruits, for $25!  And they were very fresh!

IMG_2945

The crazy woman in me wondered what our family could live off of that would be easy to freeze, but also rich in nutrition and able to go into almost everything?  Helping us not have to go out as much, or spend as much money at this time.

And I decided to buy 40 POUNDS of sweet potatoes :O !!!

IMG_2962

So now we’re busy cooking, baking, boiling, and freezing.  I’m thinking sweet potato pancakes, sweet potato muffins (we’ve done this before – they were amazing!), sweet potato fries, sweet potato puree to add into sauces to up the nutrition (you can even do this to spaghetti sauce to trick your kids 😀 ), and anything else I can come up with.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But definitely… Sweet potato pie, which we’ve also tried before here.

05114308701-sweet-potato-pie-recipe-main

It’s going to take days to fully prep all these veggies and potatoes, but I don’t mind at all.

 

IMG_2963